Exam Survival Guide: 6 Study Tips and Tricks from a Librarian

As spring creeps into Edmonton, there’s a certain animal that starts showing up to the library in droves. No, it’s not the geese pecking at the windows. No, it’s not the squirrel chasing you in the parking lot. And no, it’s not the cute baby birds flapping in the trees.

Scientists recognize this particular animal by the following characteristics: dark under-eye bags, twitchy over-caffeinated limbs, occasional low moans of despair.

The scientific name for this animal is Stressus Maximus, but you may know them better as students. Specifically, students studying for exams.

Plan on making the library your home during exam season? We’ve got some insider tips that’ll ensure your study sessions are effective.

Exam season survival mode, activate!

1. Stake Out a Good Spot

This ain’t your grandma’s library anymore. Public libraries are community gathering spaces open to people of all ages and walks of life.

That hustle and bustle is part of what makes EPL the second most-visited place in Edmonton. (But if you’re the easily distracted type, be sure to pack your headphones or find one of our quiet study rooms.)

Pro tip: the further away you are from the kids’ area, the quieter it’ll be.

2. Host a Study Jam

Feeling lonely as you study? Libraries are great places for group meetings. Grab a bunch of your equally exam-stressed friends, head to the library, grab a table and get cracking.

3. Eat, Drink, Cram, Repeat

You don’t have to hide that bag of McDonalds underneath your hoodie. You absolutely need that fuel to power through that next chapter in your textbook.

Food and refreshments are allowed inside EPL branches. Just be respectful of your neighbours and clean up after yourself. For those over the legal drinking age, when we say "refreshments," we don’t mean booze. Save that for your celebratory post-exam party, buddy.

4. Play a Study Soundtrack

If you’re someone who needs to have their brain floating in music as you memorize every muscle in the human body and the dates of every single war that ever happened, you can stream music, opens a new window with your library card.

Support your arts community by checking out Capital City Records, opens a new window, which is your source for local Edmonton musicians, all the time. If you want something a little more mainstream, then hoopla, opens a new window—packed with brand new albums from hit artists and chart toppers galore—is for you.

5. Seek Out Steady Wi-Fi

Don’t worry, we’d never be so cruel as to make you live without Wi-Fi. Connect your devices to our free Wi-Fi network— you don’t need a library card to sign on (even though you should totally get a library card anyway, opens a new window, because all the cool kids have one).

Not in the mood to squint into your cell phone or forgot your laptop at home? Hop onto any of our computer stations or borrow a Chromebook from the front desk.

6. Ask the Experts

Your average librarian is 10 per cent stealth creeping power, 10 per cent X-ray vision through shelves and 80 per cent eagerness to please.

Looking for a study guide? Writing a paper and need one more research source? We’ll leap over our desk in our excitement to help. You don’t even need to come into the library. Get help via chat on our website, opens a new window.

If you’re in junior high or high school, you can also create an account on Solaro, opens a new window, an online study guide that’s 100 per cent Alberta curriculum or chat with an online tutor through Brainfuse, opens a new window.

Plus teens looking for extra guidance with math or essay writing can drop into our Homework Help for Teens program, opens a new window and get free one-on-one help with a (real flesh and blood) volunteer tutor. The program runs from May to June 2018.

7. Move Your Body

Reached that moment when you’re on your third hour of studying and you feel like a lump of human potato? It’s time to get up and move.

Do some stretches, opens a new window at your table. Get up and take a lap around the library. Visit the water fountain. Pop your head outside and breathe in that fresh air you probably haven’t inhaled for days.

Get rejuvenated and we’ll see you again when you’re ready to hit the books again (ugh).

With these study tips, you'll ace your exams! Plus, we’ve got volunteer tutors ready to help you with math, English and essay writing—no registration required!

Find a Tutor, opens a new window